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Editor's Picks

Group photos Texas OODs
Five days of oaking in the Lone Star State.
Roderick Cameron | Oct 21, 2023
Tour Participants on Fiddler Peak
An account of the Tour guided by Sean Hogan
Website Editor | Oct 19, 2023
Quercus pacifica
An collection specializing in native Californian oaks
Christina Varnava | Oct 18, 2023

Plant Focus

A small but mature Alabama sandstone oak producing acorns © Patrick Thompson
A Critically Endangered dwarf oak 

Quercus rubramenta in Guerrero State, a Giant Understudied Tree

Project Contact: Dr. Maricela Rodríguez, Global Conservation Consortium for Oak (GCCO) Coordinator for Mexico and Central America

Project Summary: The project aims to survey this species to determine its distribution and population size and status, reproduction and regeneration, its role in the maintenance and equilibrium of the forest, cultural uses, and relationship with the native population. With this information project leaders will be able to identify the threats that are impacting this IUCN Vulnerable oak. Also, as the oak does not appear to be in cultivation, they will collect acorns across the species range and propagate seedlings to replant in the wild and to conserve in ex-situ living collections. 

Executive Summary: This project is included in the field survey and population monitoring of Q. rubramenta, an accepted species in section Lobatae (red oaks). It was described by Trelease in 1934 from specimens with immature leaves and inflorescences. As this made the application of the name difficult, the description was amplified by Valencia Avalos and Jimenez Ramirez in 1991 based on new collections from the type locality. The type specimens in Berlin mentioned by Trelease no longer exist. It is sometimes listed as a synonym of Q. salicifolia.

Quercus rubramenta tree
Large Quercus rubramenta in the state of Guerrero

Quercus rubramenta is a tree that has been found in different forest types in Guerrero state, including that of Quercus, Pinus, and Abies. It is found from 2,100 to 2,750 m elevation and has been reported as a tree of up to 45 m tall. In personal observations it has been reported to reach up to 65 m height, making it one of the tallest trees in Mexico. A report of the species in the state of Oaxaca has not been confirmed.

Quercus rubramenta acorns
Quercus rubramenta acorns

As herbarium collections are relatively few, and often not georeferenced, we believe there is a need for a complete survey of this species, to determine its exact distribution and size of populations, reproduction and regeneration, its role in the maintenance and equilibrium of the forest, cultural uses and relationship with the native population.

This project intends to carry out a survey to obtain more information about the distribution of Quercus rubramenta, taking advantage of the connection that Profauna, an NGO, has with locals in this part of Mexico.

Distribution of Quercus rubramenta from IUCN. Not all points have been confirmed
Distribution of Quercus rubramenta from IUCN; not all points have been confirmed

Further Reading


OC&R Testimonial


Maricela Rodriguez

A Life Dedicated to Oak Conservation: Maricela Rodríguez
Amy Byrne


IO27 cover

Oaks in Puebla: Growing Successes and Failures, and New Research Topics

Maricela Rodríguez-Acosta, Allen J. Coombes, Carlos A. Contreras-Paredes, Stephanie Fernández-Velázquez, and Citlali Guevara-González
(International Oaks No. 27)